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This morning’s panel on Media was hosted by Scott Case, founding CEO of the Startup America Partnership. Panelists included Tim Stevens of CNET, Jason Gilbert of Yahoo! Tech, and Jen Consalvo of Tech Cocktail.

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See below for some key moments from the panel discussion:

Tips for pitching to tech journalists:

  • “If it’s not relevant [to me], it doesn’t matter how great your pitch is” – Tim

  • “You should spend as much time writing your subject line as you do your actual pitch.” – Jason

  • “We would love to read every pitch … but we’re getting hundreds and hundreds of pitches every day.” – Tim

  • “People need to understand more about the background of the journalist that they’re pitching to. Get a little personal.” – Jen

  • “One of the best pitches I got was from someone who followed me on Twitter and noticed my personal passion for photography.” – Jen

  • “Having some aspect of passion in your pitch helps.” – Tim

  • “Right now, we want to find a founder that we can connect with.” – Jen

  • “We look for the ‘why’” – Jen

  • “It’s important for you to find out who the best individual is to cover the story.” – Tim

What not to do when engaging with journalists:

  • “Many just can’t tell their story. Practice. Ask who you’re talking to, learn how to tailor your pitch and answer questions quickly.” – Jen

  • “No one knows your story better than you do. Practice.” – Jen

  • “Emailing me or finding me on Twitter are all way better than calling me.” – Jason

  • “If you reach out to me with a pitch and then I see another article about you with much better details and information” – Jason

  • “When people send 3-5 follow up emails.” – Tim

What’s the advantage of getting press?

  • “It could be argued that that value is going down because it’s so easy for companies to get their own message out.” – Tim

  • “It depends on the size and visibility of your company.” – Tim

  • “A trusting voice is something that we can bring to the table.” – Tim

  • “You want your exposure to get to the right audience.” – Jen

When should I start talking to journalists?

  • “If you’re building something, don’t go public until you’re ready to fulfill orders, or have a store front.” – Jason

  • “Once you’re ready, never just bring it to a reporter and say that you launched it that morning. Plan it so the reporter has time.” – Jen

  • “It’s never too early to start trying to form a friendship with a reporter.” – Jason

Is it better for a founder or a professional to pitch?

  • “I’d rather ask detailed questions about the product.” – Tim

  • “A PR person can help get you through email pitching, though.” – Tim

  • “There’s nothing wrong with working with an agency. Make sure it’s the right time for you.” – Jen

  • “Early stage companies can sink a lot of money into a firm too early on.” – Jen

After the panel, Eureka Park attendees had a chance to meet privately for mentorship with each of the panelists.

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Later this afternoon, we heard from Frank Alfano, Chief Revenue Officer at MakerBot in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Scott Case in which they discussed “The Maker Movement.”

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 Highlights Below:

  • “Over 600 US schools have a MakerBot today.”
  • “We are on a mission to put a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer in every school in the USA.”
  • “MakerBot is exploding. There is room for growth in this space. We are a disruptive technology and welcome competition.”
  • “The coolest things about becoming a MakerBot – you enter a new world, a new community, it will unleash your creativity!”
  • “There are 44,000 MakerBots out in the world, in 5 years there will be millions. The education space is rapidly adopting 3D printing”
  • “As the technology evolves and materials change, the items that will be able to be 3D printed will go from the design phase to actually printed out on a graphic prototype basis. We have a number of automobile producers who use our MakerBots in their factories today for design purposes.”
  • “We’re a rapidly growing and changing company, and we are going to continue to be disruptive.”

 

Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian